'Down With The King', Produced by Alumnus Rob Cristiano ’13, Acquired by Visit Films for Worldwide Distribution

BY Angeline Dimambro, July 23, 2021

Still from Down with the King

Down with the King, produced by Rob Cristiano '13, has been acquired by Visit Films for worldwide distribution.


The film was among the seven projects by Columbia filmmakers that screened at the internationally esteemed 2021 Cannes Film Festival. Down With The King premiered as part of the ACID (Association for the Distribution of Independent Cinema) lineup of this year’s festival, which runs parallel to the larger Cannes Film Festival.


Down With The King follows Mercury Maxwell, aka “Money Merc,” a famous rapper disillusioned with the music industry and the pressures of being a celebrity, as he leaves the city and his career behind to find himself in a small-town farming community. After Maxwell abruptly announces his retirement over social media and his decision to focus on farming, his manager tries everything he can to lure his most lucrative client back to the music scene.


Grammy-nominated rapper Freddie Gibbs makes his feature debut in the film, with actors Jamie Neumann (Lovecraft Country), David Krumholtz (The Plot Against America), Sharon Washington (Joker) and Bob Tarasuk (Bob and the Trees) rounding out the cast.


“I’m thrilled to work with Visit,” director Diego Ongaro said in a statement to the press. “They have been well known over the years for their commitment and beliefs in original independent films and I can’t imagine a better partner to represent the unique film we made.”


Rob Cristiano is a Brooklyn-born independent filmmaker. His feature film producing credits include the upcoming Down With The King and festival favorites The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance '18), Bob and the Trees (Sundance '15, Winner of the Crystal Globe at Karlovy Vary Int'l Film Fest '15), Keep the Change (Winner, Best US Narrative Film at the Tribeca Film Festival '17, Winner of Critics' Award at Karlovy Vary Int'l Film Festival '17), My First Kiss and the People Involved (Los Angeles Film Festival '16, Audience Prize at New Orleans Film Festival '16), and Maine (Tribeca Film Festival '18). Prior to receiving his MFA in Producing from the Columbia University Film Program, Cristiano spent five years at MTV, where he produced DVDs of the most successful franchises in the history of the channel. In 2013, the Producers Guild of America presented Cristiano with the prestigious Debra Hill Fellowship for emerging producers.